Grow your own conservationists

If you can't find marine conservationists with practical ability, technical knowledge and soft skills, train your own! For six years Cumbria Wildlife Trust and The Wildlife trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside have done exactly that.
747 Hours of Training
97 Marine Surveys
331 Events Delivered
15 Partner Organisations

Thanks to two rounds of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, 24 recent graduates have been given the skills and experience required to secure a job in the marine conservation sector. Trainees have learnt species ID skills, ecological surveying, practical conservation, undertaken media training and learnt how to work well independently and within a team. 

In the last three years of the Marine and Coastal Heritage Programme alone the trainees have: 

  • Recieved 747 hours of taught training  
  • Completed 97 marine and coastal species and habitat surveys
  • Delivered 331 events, attracting over 20,000 attendees
  • Worked with 15 partner organisations who supported the programme 

The greatest success of the programme by far has been that 100% of the trainees have secured employment in the marine conservation sector

The greatest success of the programme by far has been that 100% of the trainees have secured employment in the marine conservation sector within six months of finishing their traineeships and five of them have gone on to work for Wildlife Trusts around the country. 

Senior Marine Conservation Officer for the North West Wildlife Trusts, Emily Baxter says: "Although the marine training programme has now sadly come to an end it has not only been of great benefit to all the young people that have had their lives changed, it has also had a massive impact on all the organisations that have been involved". 

Marine and Coastal Heritage Programme 2014-2017 Traineeships and why they work: A short film by Simon Sylvester showcasing the success of the Marine and Coastal Heritage Programme traineeships funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund under the Skills for the Future scheme.

The Trusts have compiled an evaluation report to share their learnings from running these traineeships, outlining the programme’s objectives and results, the highlights, who the trainees were, the skills, knowledge and experience that they gained, and how the programme has made an impact on the trainees, the natural heritage and the public. You can download the report below.

Through having such a positive experience of running the marine and coastal heritage programmes, both Trusts have committed to helping the development of young people through other traineeship and apprenticeship schemes in other areas of their work.